SAM Baldock is helping fill the void left by John Mousinho at Oxford United, head coach Karl Robinson has revealed.

Mousinho took the managerial vacancy at Sky Bet League One rivals Portsmouth last week, and has so far overseen consecutive 2-0 victories – at home to Exeter City and away against Fleetwood Town in midweek.

Robinson has previously said that first team coach Leon Blackmore-Such will take on some of the work previously done by Mousinho, and has now confirmed that Baldock is also stepping in.

The 33-year-old striker has yet to play for United this campaign, as he works towards getting fully fit.

In May, Baldock signed a two-year contract with the club, after his initial short-term deal expired at the end of the 2021/22 campaign.

Baldock first signed as a free agent in February, after leaving Derby County, but suffered a knee injury less than a month after his debut.

However, he made a big impression at the club, scoring four goals in seven games, and struck up a strong partnership with Matty Taylor in a 3-4-1-2 formation.

Asked about the potential of Baldock taking on a similar player-coach role to the one vacated by Mousinho, Robinson said: “Sam has stepped up to that role short-term, he’s involved in a lot of meetings that we go through.

“Sam’s flight path is slightly different to John’s.

“There’s a lot of conversations that happen consistently and internally for people’s development.

“Not just short-term for younger players but long-term when they come towards retirement age, we take that very seriously.

“We got it right with John, with the pathway we created.

“I want to make sure everyone gets an opportunity to do what they want to do within our game, regardless of who you are.”

Robinson added: “Leon is Oxford through and through – he knows the city, the county and the club as much as anybody.

“The likes of Sam Baldock, who was a Manor Club member – to have him now, obviously he has the club’s best wishes at heart.

“He came through as a young fan and we build for the next stage of the club’s journey.”

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On whether Robbie Fowler, who coaches United’s forwards on an informal basis, may take on a more prominent role, Robinson said: “We can all put names on the table and have conversations but Robbie wants to be a manager.

“When he’s around, he comes in and helps out with the strikers.

“He’s always been there for me as a friend, to pick his brains on things.

“He fits in really well within the building but he wants to be a manager.”